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Diabetes drug linked to bladder cancer, Louisiana judge hears case

The people of Lake Charles are well-aware that diabetes is ravaging the country. As more people are diagnosed with this serious condition, there will be an increased demand for viable diabetes treatments, but Louisiana residents should be able to expect that these treatments aren't dangerous products that will cause serious side effects.

After the diabetes medication Actos was supposedly linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer, a federal judge in Louisiana is set to hear a series of consumer-filed lawsuits against the manufacturer. The numerous cases filed against Takeda Pharmaceuticals are expected to be consolidated after initial hearings on Mar. 22.

The first lawsuit filed against Takeda and the first lawsuit that actually argued the drug was making it more likely to develop bladder cancer was filed in July 2011, 12 years after it was originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug came on the market in 1999 to treat Type 2 diabetes. Now, there are over 150 lawsuits claiming the drug is making people more susceptible to a very serious type of cancer.

CBS Money Watch reports that there could be thousands more lawsuits filed in or moved to Lafayette, Louisiana, by the end of the year.

There is no reason for a Louisianan to put him or herself at risk for bladder cancer in an attempt to treat his or her diabetes. While diabetes demands excellent care and effective medications, there are enough treatments out there that someone living with the condition can avoid putting him- or herself at risk for cancer. For those people who have already developed cancer, it is important to consult a products liability lawyer who can explain what options are available to hold the drug manufacturer liable.

Source: CBS Money Watch, "Judge sets 1st hearing for diabetes drug lawsuits," Feb. 14, 2012

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